Lisbon Lopes signing

Cambridge Academy swimmer Lisbon Lopes signed Thursday to join Coverse College’s swim team. From left are Jennifer Lopes, Lisbon Lopes and Pedro Lopes. Back row, from left, are Robert Rooney, Jim Sharpe and Lori Anne Hagood.

Cambridge Academy athletic director Robert Rooney introduced Lisbon Lopes Thursday morning at her signing ceremony as “the reason we have a swim team.”

Lopes’ love for swimming led her to establish a team at her school, and she will continue in the sport in college. Lopes signed to swim at Converse College.

“I was a swimmer already, but when I came here, there was no swim team,” Lopes said. “I recruited swimmers and found a coach and came to Coach Rooney and I said I wanted a team.”

Cambridge established a team, and Lopes’ senior year has been one of the most successful. The Cougars took eighth at the state meet this year, and Lopes claimed fourth in the 200-yard freestyle and fifth in the 100-yard butterfly.

Lopes said she enjoyed Converse College because of the positive attitude of her future teammates. She said she looks forward to having Cambridge swimmers watch her college meets.

“The family atmosphere and everyone when I saw the team was really positive,” Lopes said. “They were really positive, supporting the team and cheering. That made me want to join.”

Contact sports writer Skylar Rolstad at 864-223-1813 or follow him on Twitter @SkyRolSports.